“You cannot swim for new horizons until you have courage to lose sight of the shore.”- William Faulkner
Meet Two Argentinian Men Confident in their South American Semifinals Chances
The fight for the top spot at the South American Semifinals could very well come down to two Argentinian men — 27-year-old Nicolas Bidarte and 24-year-old Agustin Richelme — hailing from a country where the average person knows little to nothing about the sport of CrossFit.
“There are still a lot of people here who don’t know what CrossFit is, and now that I own a box, I realize so many people still think it’s a conventional gym, and when you tell them it’s CrossFit, they’re like, ‘What is that?’ It’s hard to believe,” said Richelme, the owner of AR1 Fitness in Buenos Aires, who placed first in the 2021 Open in South America and fifth in the Quarterfinals.
More on Richelme: Richelme already has invaluable Games experience, having competed in Madison, WI in 2019, where he placed 50th overall.
Though he’s an elite CrossFit athlete and gym owner today, Richelme admitted he didn’t like CrossFit when his parents convinced him to try it. “My first class was a 20 minute AMRAP with a lot of running, and I hate running…It was a really hard class and I wanted to puke,” he said, laughing. “So I stayed at the traditional gym training biceps and triceps and that shit, and (my family) continued to do it, and (eventually) I gave it another shot and fell in love with it.”
Rich Froning was CrossFit’s earliest breakout star—you might say he’s the Michael Jordan of the sport (with Mat Fraser being the LeBron, naturally). The four-time “Fittest Man on Earth” transitioned from individual to team competition in 2015, and since then has taken home the team title four times.
How Stage One and the Quarterfinals Might Impact the Virtual Semifinals
Due to the global restrictions preventing live competition, CrossFit tried its hand at programming Stage One of the CrossFit Games as a weekend long online test and a filtering process to get down to the top five men and women who could then compete live in California.
This year, as part of the new CrossFit Games season, they ran a very similar style competition for the individual Quarterfinals. Again the goal was to whittle down a bigger field and find a group of athlete’s fit enough to compete in the next phase (in this case the Semifinals).
Why it’s important: With the inability to host live events in certain areas of the world, the next stage of competition will also have to be online for at least half of the Semifinal events. The Semifinals, much like last year’s Stage One competition, serve as direct qualifiers to the final stage of the season: the CrossFit Games. No one expects the first attempt at these online competitions with so much at stake to be perfect. However, when the third iteration of this format comes up in a month or so, the hope is that lessons have been learned from the first two, and then applied to the third version of this style of test.
Good News is our weekly round-up of positive stories around the affiliate community. Are you opening a new gym, expanding a current location, offering new classes, or is your box running a fundraiser? Send us a tip to be featured.
Soles for soles: Wayfarer CrossFit in Irwin, PA is partnering with Rising Six CrossFit doing a gently-worn shoe drive for the month of May for Soles 4 Souls. The shoes they collect will benefit entrepreneurs in places like Haiti and Honduras that help start and sustain small businesses.
Crossfit JXN in Jackson, MS recently hosted a Lemonade Stand for The Mustard Seed’s “Squeeze the Day for the Seedsters” event. They raised a total of $1,395!! The Mustard Seed is a home for adults with development disabilities allowing them to grow and learn emotionally, spiritually, and intellectually.
CrossFit Hartford in Hartford, CT collected 546 cans for their local food pantry during the CrossFit Open. Their owner, Derek McDermott, is going to do a burpee for every good collected. It’s been delayed because Derek’s wife gave birth early to their first child on the Friday night of 21.3/21.4, but he’s still committed!
Win Awesome Gear has pledged that 10% of proceeds for the month of May will be donated to Rock Steady Boxing, a nonprofit organization that gives people with Parkinson’s disease hope by improving quality of life through fitness. To help, head over to WAG’s website for a chance to win a home gym and 10% of what you spend will go to Rock Steady Boxing. Use code CHALKUP10 for a discount on your purchase.
Tommy Tackles Semifinal Seeding
Semifinal seedings and roster invites are out for the individuals and with the exception of a handful of backfill spots getting filled for athletes choosing to go team, we have the matchups that will determine the field at the Games.
Let me start by saying I am absolutely thrilled we will have some live CrossFit competition that fans can actually attend in less than a month. A year ago such a notion seemed far fetched to say in the least.
The topic of Semifinal seeding in North America was the most pressing issue considering we are a month out and athletes and everyone else involved needed to start making travel plans, and arrangements accordingly before prices and availability became more prohibitive.
New Study About Fitness and COVID Could Help get Economic Relief to Affiliates, Eric Roza Hopes
New research published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine on April 13 revealed that greater physical activity levels help guard against severe cases and death from COVID-19.
To the CrossFit community — with our understanding of the health-wellness curve — the study should probably get the “No Shit” research of the year award, but the more scientific research that can support what we already know, the better, said CrossFit LLC CEO Eric Roza.
“The link between fitness and improved immunity to a host of diseases has already been established beyond a reasonable doubt, and it’s great to see this new study providing such strong evidence that this holds true for COVID-19 we well,” Roza told the Morning Chalk Up.
One big thing: According to Roza, more than 100 members of Congress have joined CrossFit in support of the GYMS Act to rebuild America’s fitness infrastructure by providing economic relief to thousands of independent gym owners, “so we can restore our health and strengthen our nation’s immunity against COVID-19 and future threats,” Roza explained of the Gym Mitigation and Survival Act. And medical research like this one can only bolster the initiative’s chances.
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Good mornings and squats are two separate exercises and should remain that way. If you find yourself leaning forward on the way up from the bottom of a squat, incorporate these accessory drills to strengthen your quads.
Ever wonder how hard mountain climbing is? Check out Morning Chalk Up founder Justin LoFranco's WHOOP scores from a recent climb. They are staggering. You can also track your body's data with a free WHOOP strap at the link in his bio.
Whether you're building strength or feel like your glutes aren't firing fully, these exercises will help you get the most out of the body's largest muscle. Use this series of progressions before a workout to ensure your glutes are fully activated.
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